IMDX System

Endofotonics’ IMDX system, which uses a specially designed fibre-optic confocal Raman endoscopic probe

The IMDX system was developed as a Raman Spectroscopy endoscopic device capable of capturing molecular signatures of tissues during endoscopy. This allows real time diagnosis during endoscopic examinations. 

The Raman Spectroscopy technique probes for biomolecular changes associated with cellular transformation by ‘exciting’ tissue molecules using laser lights. It can used for optical biopsy at the biomolecular level, but its application has been limited to use outside of the human body. This is due to challenges in the inherently weak Raman signal, slow spectral measurement speed, and size of the Raman probe allowing it to pass down the instrument channel of medical endoscopes. 


This video shows the IMDX system used during a live endoscopic examination

The IMDX system addresses these issues and consists of a Raman spectroscopy system, a specially designed fibre-optic confocal Raman endoscopic probe, and an online customised software control system that extracts and analyses epithelial molecular information. This allows for an almost instantaneous display of diagnosis. 

Two research prototype systems have been deployed in the National University Hospital. They have demonstrated the ability for in-vivo molecular diagnosis of even pre-cancerous tissues in more than 500 patients undergoing endoscopic examinations. These patients had diverse cancer types like stomach, oesophagus, colon, rectum, head and neck, and cervix.  

Endofotonics is currently focused on engineering development for mass production of the system, and the first commercial prototype is expected to be ready by 2017. 

The IMDX system was developed by A/Prof Huang Zhiwei from National University of Singapore. It was funded under the Strategic Research Programme for Biomedical Sciences Translational & Clinical Research (TCR), and the S&T2010 TCR flagship programme for Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium. The technology was licensed to Endofotonics, a spin-off company by the NUS Industry Liaison Office. 


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